(MENAFN - AFP) Australia posted a surprise drop in unemployment to 5.2 percent, despite data showing the mining-powered economy is cooling due to China's slowdown.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell from 5.4 percent in October to a three-month low of 5.2 percent last month, with the economy creating an unexpectedly high 13,900 jobs.
Analysts had expected unemployment to increase to 5.5 percent, with September quarter growth data published Wednesday showing the resources-driven economy slowing down as China's growth moderates, impacting on commodity prices.
Australia grew 0.5 percent in the three months to September 30 and 3.1 percent year-on-year, compared with rates of 0.6 percent and 3.7 percent three months earlier.
The Reserve Bank of Australia slashed interest rates to an equal record low of 3.0 percent on Tuesday -- levels not seen since the financial crisis -- warning of significant global headwinds and a peak in mining investment.
The Australian dollar lifted from 1.0445 to US1.0468 on news of the jobs data, with the market seeing it as reducing the case for further rate cuts.
"The doomsters have got it wrong -- again. More jobs created, more hours worked and fewer people unemployed," said CommSec economist Craig James.
"While there are a number of high-profile company failures and job losses, beneath the surface small and medium-sized businesses are still keen to put on more staff."